3 Things You May Not Know About Real Fighting
Real combat situations never go the way you train in the gym/dojo. Here are three things to watch out for if you find yourself in a real situation.
1. In a real fight you lose power.
Yes, that's right, you lose power.
You know when you hit the heavy bag in the gym, and you're just laying these hard and heavy shots into the leather and it seems like the bag is about to break free from its chains because you're hitting it with so much power?
Well that doesn't happen much in real combat.
Largely due to the cocktail of stress hormones coursing through your body, you end up losing quite a bit of power.
It makes sense. Turbo charges like that take a lot of energy to produce. A lot of the energy that you normally put into your strikes in practice goes into producing that adrenaline rush. After the initial burst you begin to feel weakened by it.
I've felt this effect and it can come as a bit of a shock when you throw a strike and it feels like you’re hitting with a feather. You can't understand why you didn't strike the way you did thousands of times before in training.
That's why. Adrenaline. It has both positive and negative effects. The real key to maximum performance under its influence is knowing what to expect.
So you have to learn about it and you have to experience it first-hand a few times.
When you learn to cope better with the stress reaction, you will also learn to strike more powerfully when in that condition.
A good start to learning to cope would be doing pressure tests and scenario work in the gym. Exposure therapy. What you feel in the gym will not be what you will feel in a real situation exactly, but it’ll be enough to get you started. You’ll just know to expect more of it.
2. You scrabble in real fights
I know what you're thinking. In a real fight you get an uncontrollable urge to play board games. Something to do with the adrenaline, right?
Not exactly. Although suggesting a game of Scrabble to someone who is about to rip your head off and stare down your neck might be a good ploy to set up a pre-emptive strike, that is not what I mean by scrabble.
Here's the dictionary definition of scrabble:
To scrape or grope about frenetically with the hands.
Yes, that’s right. Real violence doesn't tend to play out the way it does in Hard To Kill. Unlike Segal in the movie, you tend not to be that graceful or fluid in a real fight.
Physical confrontations are so hyped up and frantic that it is almost impossible to be graceful, at least not in the way you normally would be when doing techniques in the gym. The adrenaline messes up your co-ordination and fine motor skills a bit.
Hence, you scrabble. You just want to get it over with. You don't have time to be graceful.
That's why real fights always look so scruffy.
3. Your ego will often get in the way
You know your ego. It's that asshole who loves himself and is always rudely demanding things; the one who always thinks he's right; the one who can't walk away from a fight, who refuses to turn the other cheek in case they appear weak in the eyes of others.
Think back. In all the times you have had a physical confrontation with someone, how many of those times were at least in part caused by you? How many times could you have easily walked away without recourse to violence?
We've all been in a few bad incidents of our own making, times when we pushed things too far, when we said things out of pride, times when we should have left well alone and walked away.
It was your ego that made you stay when you should have walked, reacted when you shouldn't have, said things you shouldn't have said.
The ego is a powerful force. It has a massively tight grip on most people and its needs are hard to ignore.
It also has a habit of taking over in times of stress.
If you wish to lead a peaceful life then learn to guard against and control your own ego. In a conflict situation it will get you in trouble every time.
It will strive to make you feel bad about doing the right thing. The safest thing.
If some drunk says something rude to your wife your ego will immediately want to reprimand that person. You'll feel like you have to confront the guy, maybe even hit him.
From a self defence point of view that would be the wrong thing to do. Just whatever, the guys a dick, walk away. But your ego will pop up and shout "NO! Hit this dick-now! He insulted your woman!"
I don't need to tell you why that shouldn't happen. Your ego will keep telling you why it should however.
And it's like that in every situation. Unless you have a handle on your sneaky bastard ego it will continue to take over and cause more trouble.
So get a handle on it.
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